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Old 04-15-2018, 10:45 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Default 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?

I don't have any short barrel revolvers and I like the idea of the shrouded hammer, and the price looks right.

So does anyone have this gun and your thoughts on it. Did you make the right choice in buying it or if you could do over again would you have chosen something else?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:07 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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I’ve had one for about a year now and I really like it! Would I make a different choice? No. I like the fact that you can use single action for shooting paper but it’s a little hard to draw that hammer back. I would say next to impossible in a defense situation. It’s not a pretty gun but I like my humpbacked little friend!
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:09 AM
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Default Model 638

I have two of them, a 638-2 and a 638-3. I pretty much daily carry one or the other. No regrets at all. My favorite Airweight .38!

Model 638-3 above and Model 638-2 below in each photo.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:27 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Hmm...I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for a -2. I didn’t know they made a no lock version. I don’t intend to get rid of mine but if I could track down a no lock?? Very nice D Brown!

Last edited by 67whaler; 04-16-2018 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:11 AM
shottist shottist is offline
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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I have owned/carried a Model 38 for many years.IMO it is far and away the best of the J frames. The shrouded hammer, single action capability and light weight make it ideal for EDC. All of mine have been lock free, (as are all my S&Ws). They have been described as a "professionals gun" and I agree.

Last edited by shottist; 04-16-2018 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:53 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Yep. I have a 438 and a 638. I sometimes carry the 438 in a pocket but the 638 is a bit heavy for that. To carry the 638 I use a OWB holster. Then decided that if I'm going to have a gun hanging on a belt it might as well be something more formidable. As a result, the 638 has become a safe queen.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:06 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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I had a 638 a few years back, and should have kept it. But I foolishly let it go to buy something else. I have since replaced it with a nickel model 38 No Dash, which is "Shiny". I've found that the Wolff spring kits help the trigger pull and hammer tremendously. I'm ordering one for this one. I love these little guys.

I slipped a set of smooth targets (RB to SQ) on it the other day to see how it looks. So far, ........... well I'm not sure. It certainly feels good in the hand, and I'll probably shoot it better, but concealability went out the window. They conceal best with a "Hip Grip", just hooked over the belt.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:13 AM
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Excellent revolvers for skilled shooters. For anyone else, such small, light guns are little more than a good way to develop a bad flinch. They are difficult for the inexperienced to shoot well, one reason many claim these guns are inaccurate and use the "gunfights occur at close range" excuse to compensate for a lack of skill.

For someone willing to practice sufficiently, it's hard to find a more useful gun for the intended purpose. Other than as a personal preference, lock or no lock makes no difference.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:16 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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My 438 in a Mika pocket holster is my summertime shorts and a t-shirt carry. No regrets at all. I'm just more comfortable holstering a weapon when I can keep thumb pressure against a hammer.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:17 AM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Look up HUMPBACK in the search. We love these little oddballs
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:40 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67whaler View Post
Hmm...Iím gonna have to keep an eye out for a -2. I didnít know they made a no lock version. I donít intend to get rid of mine but if I could track down a no lock?? Very nice D Brown!
The 638-2 is also Plus P rated. Basically, the best 638 going, if you can find one.

Best of luck in your search!
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:51 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Reliable, reasonable power and easily concealed in a pocket.
https://i.imgur.com/jNCo1NT.jpg
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:52 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe44va View Post
Yep. I have a 438 and a 638. I sometimes carry the 438 in a pocket but the 638 is a bit heavy for that. To carry the 638 I use a OWB holster. Then decided that if I'm going to have a gun hanging on a belt it might as well be something more formidable. As a result, the 638 has become a safe queen.
Have you got the 638 confused with the 649 by any chance? I don't see how you could see any difference in weight between a 438 and a 638 when the only difference should be one being blue finish and one being stainless finish. They're both alloy frame. The 649, on the other hand, is an all stainless steel gun, and IS considerably heavier.

I have a 649-2 and like the old style hammer nose among other features.

Model 649-2
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:32 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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If I wanted single action ability. I would get a 637 and bob the hammer spur. Allow for reduced snag potential when CC and still offer single action ability should one want it.

While I’m sure the 638 is a great gun. That style, in my opinion is the ugliest revolver ever made. All I can think of when I see that gun is Quasimodo- “the hunchback of Notre dame”.

To each their own! Love having choices!

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Old 04-16-2018, 01:44 PM
326MOD10 326MOD10 is offline
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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I have a 638-3, pictured, and recently picked up a 638-2 (no lock), sorry no picture yet.

I love the humpback and have an older 649 and 49 as well.

I purchased the 638-3 first to serve as a back-up to my 642, in case of a mechanical issue.

I have stuck with the 642 (most recently a PC model) but now that I have the 638-2 in hand I may have to see about making a change.

The -2 is not easy to find but if you are persistent you will run across one at the right price at some point.

Now to find a decent Model 38 at a reasonable price!
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:48 PM
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I have carried one model or another bodyguard since I was a young police officer in the late 1960's. Do not leave home without one. Current carry is a M438 in a Robert Mika pocket holster.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:09 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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I have 3 or 4 of them. Model 49, Model 38 and a 638.

Great guns
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:03 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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D Brown.
You're right, it's a 649.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:00 PM
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I think the ďoldĒ bodyguards are neat little revolvers. I actually even like the way they look. I donít have one, but for those who do, does lint get trapped in the shroud and, if so, any evidence of it working itís way into the internals?
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:29 PM
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I have one and love it. I wouldn't call it pretty, accurate or a pleasure at the range. That being said, it is the perfect defensive revolver: Very light and extremely reliable.

The same could be said about the 642 or 637, but I slightly prefer the 638 because I like the shrouded hammer.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. K View Post
I think the ďoldĒ bodyguards are neat little revolvers. I actually even like the way they look. I donít have one, but for those who do, does lint get trapped in the shroud and, if so, any evidence of it working itís way into the internals?
I also happen to like the look of the "Bodyguard" revolvers.

As for "lint" accumulation, I have not found it to be at all troublesome. I carried mine for years (638's and 649) in a Left Handed Kramer Horsehide Pocket Holster, but in the last year or so have switched almost exclusively to a GALCO PH158 (it's ambidextrous) Horsehide Front Pocket Holster.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. K View Post
I think the ďoldĒ bodyguards are neat little revolvers. I actually even like the way they look. I donít have one, but for those who do, does lint get trapped in the shroud and, if so, any evidence of it working itís way into the internals?
I have one, as far as lint goes....if you need to carry lint, carry it in a different pocket than the one you carry your 638 in.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:19 PM
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638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one? 638 snubbie with shrouded hammer...anyone have one?  
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Just bought the Bodyguard revolver with the cylinder that rotates backwards and a miniature laser. Only had it to the range once for 25 rounds. It did pretty well. Lots of copper in the bore though. Very small grip. Ordered a larger Hogue. Nothing like any other Smith I've ever seen.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:37 PM
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I just picked up a 638-1 recently. I posted about it here:
638-1 DOB help please
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:15 PM
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When I carry a sd revolver, it’s a M 38 in my pocket.

I like these more than the current iterations (eg 638). They’re dainty: the newer ones are clunky by comparison, but the newer ones are the best pocket pistols currently made.

I don’t use a pocket holster.

The oft mentioned concern about pocket lint getting into the works is unfounded. In 30+ years, I’ve never had a problem.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:28 PM
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I don't currently own one, but if I did, I would have it converted to DAO. I think it's wise that any revolver intended for defensive purposes be DAO. To me, the enclosed hammer model make more sense, but some people(like snub aficionado Michael de Bethencourt) prefer the bodyguard frame and he has them converted to DAO.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
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I don't currently own one, but if I did, I would have it converted to DAO. I think it's wise that any revolver intended for defensive purposes be DAO. To me, the enclosed hammer model make more sense, but some people(like snub aficionado Michael de Bethencourt) prefer the bodyguard frame and he has them converted to DAO.
Couldn't you accomplish the same effect by just not using the hammer to cock the gun when you shoot it? That would save you the cost of the surgery on the gun and preserve the single action function If you ever decide to sell it.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:12 PM
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I believe it was Leroy Thompson who coined the phrase: "The Bodyguard - the thinking man's J-frame"... of something along those lines.

IMO - Everything one would want in a J frame (Leroy was right)



And as was mentioned above, the M638-2 has just all the right features and +P ratings as well.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe44va View Post
Just bought the Bodyguard revolver with the cylinder that rotates backwards and a miniature laser. Only had it to the range once for 25 rounds. It did pretty well. Lots of copper in the bore though. Very small grip. Ordered a larger Hogue. Nothing like any other Smith I've ever seen.
You have what Smith calls the Bodyguard 38. This is a relatively new gun with an action not used in any other firearm. They freeze up pretty reliably. Itís a design flaw Smith wonít fix. These arenít j frames.

These are not the guns addressed in this thread

The original Bodyguard was the M 38 and 49. The current versions include the 638. These are all j frames.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:38 PM
Kifaru Kifaru is offline
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Quote:
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Couldn't you accomplish the same effect by just not using the hammer to cock the gun when you shoot it?
I can't speak for Mr. deBethencourt, but if you cock the hammer on these and decide for whatever reason not to shoot, that little nubbin of a hammer can make them a bit sketchy to decock safely, especially after an adrenaline dump.

On the other hand, having a hammer (especially an inert one) adds another layer of safety while reholstering or administrative handling. Considering this class of firearm is often used for deep concealment where it's not always feasible to "look your gun into the holster," being able to put one's thumb over the hammer can be comforting. Finally, doing a rotation check on a revolver before holstering for the day can get you a little extra insurance, reducing the odds of encountering high primer or other defect jamming things up exactly when you need everything to go perfectly. An inert hammer is the safest way to go about this. Sure, it's a belt-and-suspenders kind of thing, but if you CCW in the first place, you are probably used to this way of thinking.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:00 AM
Mister X Mister X is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Brown View Post
Couldn't you accomplish the same effect by just not using the hammer to cock the gun when you shoot it? That would save you the cost of the surgery on the gun and preserve the single action function If you ever decide to sell it.
The case for the double action only revolver. - www.GrantCunningham.com www.GrantCunningham.com

I have no plans to purchase a bodyguard since I see the centennial as being a far superior defense weapon. I believe Bethencourt prefers the bodyguard solely for the ability to do "ready to fire" tests like checking for high primers. I just don't think that feature outweighs the advantages of the internal hammer in self-defense applications and he is definitely in the minority amongst defensive shooting instructors in his preference of the bodyguard frame over the centennial. You do also have the ability to holster/reholster with your thumb on the hammer with a bodyguard that you can't do with the hammerless models, which some might consider safer and a benefit, but I just don't see the need considering the long and heavy trigger, but to each his own.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:15 AM
shouldazagged shouldazagged is offline
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I don't find the humpback design ugly at all, and the real Bodyguards are fine little revolvers. But but for several reasons I have no use for single action in an up-close-and-personal defensive gun, so they run a pretty close second to the Centennial line for me. And that's what I've carried for a good many years.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:42 AM
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Get a no lock 442 or 642,better mouse trap. Leave the cocking to cowboys.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:01 AM
ispcapt ispcapt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. K View Post
I think the ďoldĒ bodyguards are neat little revolvers. I actually even like the way they look. I donít have one, but for those who do, does lint get trapped in the shroud and, if so, any evidence of it working itís way into the internals?
There are all kind of internet stories of lint getting in the action and freezing up a humpback and coins getting behind the hammer slot and locking it up. One thing is positive - those telling those stories have never owned and carried a humpback.
How can lint get in the action? Does lint get in any other revolver design? There's no more way lint can get in the action of a humpback than any other gun.
And no, coins won't wedge in behind the hammer.
I've been carrying humpbacks since 1975 when I bought my first 49 as my 2nd, backup, undercover gun. I carried it everyday, all day mostly in an ankle rig until 1995 when I bought a 649. I've carried both/either of those guns in places on my body most will never carry them. How many have ever duct taped a gun in the crack of your behind? In an ankle rig those guns have been carried thru mud, snow, slush, dirt, and dust. I don't mean carried when those are on the ground. I mean where the guns were actually covered in that stuff. For example I was on a manhunt where we pursued the guy thru muddy fields and down a creek. My 49 was on my ankle as I waded waste deep down the muddy creek. It was caked with mud as was most of my other gear. Hosed it off when I got home and then fired it to see if it and the ammo would work. Not a problem. They keep working.
As far as the SA ability. If you carry any gun with an exposed hammer do you always have to use the SA function? Of course not. For those that discount SA you all do realize you DO NOT have to use the SA if you don't want to? People who discount it make it sounds like they have to use the SA.
The people who talk ill of the humpback have a vivid imagination and have never owned one.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:25 AM
dr. K dr. K is offline
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Well thanks to ispcapt, RoyM52, D Brown and others, it looks like there might be a humpback in my near future. Always thought they were cool... All I needed was for some folks with actual experience to put the internet myths about lint and crud and clogging to bed. Thanks guys! Not thanks from my wife or my bank account... just from me. :-)
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:59 PM
SmithNut SmithNut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeps View Post
Get a no lock 442 or 642,better mouse trap. Leave the cocking to cowboys.
No cowboy here...... but someone who likes to check his carry piece for function.....

Never "cocked" a Bodyguard in SA mode for shooting in my lifetime. On the other hand, I've pulled back the hammer slightly and rotated the cylinder to make sure they function correctly, completely safe. Try that with your Centennial..... the only way to do the same thing is to pull the trigger.... what a concept - and very dangerous....

Just saying'
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:26 PM
kthom kthom is offline
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All I have to say here is that anyone who carries any kind of pocket gun should never, ever, carry anything else in that pocket other than some kind of pocket holster. No coins, no nothing, ever! To do so is just not smart! I have carried a snub in a pocket without a holster before I knew better. I did wise up and remove the hammer spur on that J Frame revolver so that it would not hang up on removal in a hurry. But I found out right away that sometimes the little revolver would get crooked in my pocket and be difficult to remove quickly. This was in the days before the pocket holsters we take for granted became available.

I fabricated one for myself and things got better. I then began to modify the design to make things even better and pretty soon I had a pretty safe and reliable way to carry in my pocket and keep the revolver in pretty much the same position all the time. But the first thing I found out when I began to carry in my pockets was that anything else in that pocket other than the gun, and later my fabricated holster for it, tended to complicate things exponentially. Please don't carry anything else in that pocket where you carry the gun. The lint that sometimes collects can be and should be blown or brushed gently off every day of carry at the end of the day. The gun should then be wiped down with a soft cloth that has a light application of oil, etc, to protect against fingerprints and moisture that tends to collect on the gun during the day, especially when it's warm and salty perspiration collects inside the pocket. It's just common sense to perform this necessary maintenance if you carry in your pocket or IWB for that matter.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:55 PM
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I have two; 638-3 and a 438 Cock it for 4 legged varmits. Double action for 2 legged varmits.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:33 PM
Double-O-Dave Double-O-Dave is offline
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My EDC consists of a Model 38-0 and a Model 638-1. Both are equipped with CT LG-405 laser grips, and loaded with standard velocity .38 Special ammo. I've done a cylinder switch on the Model 38 using a nickeled cylinder from a parts gun to make my version of the MSP (Michigan State Police) .38 Bodyguard that had a stainless steel cylinder installed as I could never find an actual MSP Bodyguard for sale at the right price, or in good enough condition for my liking.

Also pictured are my Model 638-1 (top) and Model 649-0. The Model 649 is equipped with CT LG-105 laser grips, and also loaded with standard velocity .38 Special ammo. The Bodyguards are my favorite J-frames, followed by the Centennials.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:18 PM
Practical Practical is offline
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The only downside is the shape fills a pocket a little more than the 442/642.

Otherwise they are great for a high grip. I think they are a over-thinker's gun in that they give you both trigger options yet conceal and function well.

I like mine, and would only replace it for a pair of 442 pro's.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:27 PM
RGVshooter RGVshooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingfool View Post
If I wanted single action ability. I would get a 637 and bob the hammer spur. Allow for reduced snag potential when CC and still offer single action ability should one want it. Love having choices!
I disagree. I think the 638 is an iconic snub nose revolver. Besides the most valid argument I have with my wife who feels I don't need more than one gun is the same as to why golfers have so many clubs. There doesn't exist just one gun that does it all. Just like golf, each club is designed to perform a specific function. Handguns are no different. Choices choices, oh my!
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:26 AM
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CAJUNLAWYER CAJUNLAWYER is offline
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Yep. I have a 438 and a 638. I sometimes carry the 438 in a pocket but the 638 is a bit heavy for that. To carry the 638 I use a OWB holster. Then decided that if I'm going to have a gun hanging on a belt it might as well be something more formidable. As a result, the 638 has become a safe queen.
How can the 638 be heavier than the 438???/ They're the same fun-just different anodizing on the frames. To my knowledge both have steel cylinders
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:32 AM
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How can the 638 be heavier than the 438???/ They're the same fun-just different anodizing on the frames. To my knowledge both have steel cylinders
See Posts 13 and 18.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:15 PM
HamHands HamHands is offline
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I have 3 or 4 of them. Model 49, Model 38 and a 638.

Great guns
That model 49... I dig it!
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:27 PM
sdb321 sdb321 is offline
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My wife chose one for her CCW. She said it "looked cute" when she bought it.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:02 PM
shakyshoot shakyshoot is offline
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I like my 638-3. I know people scoff at cocking a J-frame, but since I'm about 80% target/recreational and 20% self defense, all my revolvers do get fired single action a substantial amount. I've shot 35 or 40 rd of single action in a day a few times with my 638, and it hasn't worn a hole in my thumb yet.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:09 PM
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I bought my 638 last year. I'd been wanting one for years, and finally got it. It's everything I hoped it would be - a great little revolver that is very versatile.

I like shooting it single action at the range to compare against my double action targets. Also the critter option (snakes & stuff) appeals to me if in the Great Outdoors.
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